Sep. 25, 2014

Is Your Menu Worth Reading?

by Food Fanatics Team

Customers judge your book by its cover. In the aesthetics-obsessed internet age, a restaurant’s menu needs to be more than a list of dishes. Great design is needed to grab a diner’s attention and enhance the feel of your restaurant. Consider these four ideas:

Rethink the One Sheet

It’s easy to churn out 8½ by 11 copies. But playing with fold and paper sizes can create a more interactive experience. Because many diners celebrate special occasions at Niche in St. Louis, the fine dining restaurant adds an element of surprise. Much like a gift, the menu is printed on brightly colored cards that slide out of an envelope with a plumb bob-shaped cutout.


Hire an Illustrator

Many restaurants are discovering that artists can do more for their business than pictures on the wall. New York City bar Dead Rabbit tapped the talents of Drinksology to illustrate a narrative of flavors for its intensive 40-page cocktail menu. Chicago-area restaurants Fat Rice and Scratch Kitchen commissioned illustrator Sarah Becan to create unique, playful menus that tie into each concept.


The Best Paper You’re Not Using

Say goodbye to poorly laminated menus. Eventide Oyster Company in Portland, Maine prints its cocktail menu on PVC-based paper with an aqueous coating. When the menu gets dirty, it’s washed and wiped dry.


Get the Stamp of Approval

On a shoestring budget? Stamps provide a crafty edge and can be reused when menus change. Designer Jennifer Dopazo of Candelita created custom rubber stamps for Vinateria in New York City that are used on the menu and stationary. Saraghina in Brooklyn, New York uses stamps and typewriter font that reads cleanly against grid paper.


Need more? Check out Art of the Menu to see what’s new in menus around the world.


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